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New-Old Taco Owner! I'm "Shocked" About 160K Miles on Original Struts -- Just Lift?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Czechnology, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Oct 31, 2018 at 7:24 PM
    #1
    Czechnology

    Czechnology [OP] Well-Known Member

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    04 Xtracab TRD Offroad
    Pre-TL;DR: modest lift for stock TRD Off-Road Taco, 2-3"? Suggestions?

    Got rid of my '87 Yota 1/2 Ton when I moved for new job cause didn't want to deal with hassle of auto transport... big mistake! I kicked myself over that one... well I've made amends: 2004 TRD Off-Road Xtracab Taco with 160k on the clock. No mods, good condition, timing belt, serpentine belts, and water pump replaced this year. Good bill of health from pre-purchase inspection, which is surprising because the 2nd owner just confirmed she never had any suspension work done in the 120k miles she put on it since the first owner! I detected a bit of binding from the rear end in cornering, but figured it was just time for rear diff fluid change (it definitely was). That done, some improvement, but still a bit skitterish around corners.

    I noticed those Bilstein rear shocks, the ones with Toyota printed on them, were pretty weathered and rusty looking. They should be because they're probably factory originals -- holy shit. I bet if I replace them the truck will drive like new. So question time: given the front springs, struts, rear leaf springs, and struts, are likely all original, what's the most cost effective way of improving drive-ability while achieving a modest lift of say 2-3"? Can I get away with just replacing all four struts, or will front springs need to be changed as well? What about rear leaf springs? This taco didn't have a hard hauling/towing life, so maybe leafs are fine?
     
  2. Oct 31, 2018 at 8:06 PM
    #2
    2BeersPlease

    2BeersPlease Extra-Large Member

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    Nothing to get excited about
    2-3" wouldn't be considered modest unless you're including LT, drop brackets and SAS.

    For IFS, 3" is max. With 3", you'll need new UCAs. Personally, I think 2.5" is good.

    I think a Bilstein 5100 kit would be considered modest.
     
    Czechnology [OP] likes this.
  3. Oct 31, 2018 at 8:08 PM
    #3
    Czechnology

    Czechnology [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was just looking at this: https://www.toyteclifts.com/9504bilk-bilstein-5100-series-front-and-rear-shocks.html . I also just read this: http://www.tacomahq.com/66/tacoma-leveling-lift-kit/

    I think you're right, 1.5-2" is probably plenty for me. With that ToyTec kit I should probably just replace the front coils?
     
  4. Oct 31, 2018 at 8:09 PM
    #4
    rogerman

    rogerman Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! Most common 1st gen budget suspension upgrade is Bilstein 5100 all around with Old man emu 2880 or 2881 coils and an add a leaf. I have the billy 5100 with ome 2881 upfront and rearched stocks with daystar 1.25" shackles because they cheaper than stock shackles :confused: on t100 shocks.
     
    Czechnology [OP] likes this.
  5. Oct 31, 2018 at 8:36 PM
    #5
    2BeersPlease

    2BeersPlease Extra-Large Member

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    Nothing to get excited about
    These trucks are pretty capable in stock form. Keep the lift mild and you won't have to worry about the extra expenses that come with going 3". Maybe bump your tire size up to 265/75-16 ATs and you'll have a nice daily driver that you can take off road occasionally.
     
    Czechnology [OP] likes this.
  6. Oct 31, 2018 at 8:48 PM
    #6
    Czechnology

    Czechnology [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! I will explore these options and see if this is something I can accomplish on my own or if I'll just get a shop to do it. I did the lowering springs on my Subaru by myself (omg manual spring compression tools a BITCH) so I could be handy enough. Pic time!

    tacotuesday.jpg
     
  7. Oct 31, 2018 at 9:05 PM
    #7
    2BeersPlease

    2BeersPlease Extra-Large Member

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    Nothing to get excited about
    Mounting the shocks is a pretty easy process.
     
    Dan8906 likes this.
  8. Aug 13, 2019 at 9:47 PM
    #8
    02blancotaco

    02blancotaco Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been searching the forums for people that reached their factory leaf spring and came across your post. How have the re arched spring held up. I heard the metal tends to have a memory and go back to its deformed shape.
     
  9. Aug 14, 2019 at 11:25 AM
    #9
    96towcoma

    96towcoma Well-Known Member

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    My shocks have 316,XXX miles on them. You won’t find Toyota anywhere on them. Rust ate that up about 150k miles ago . Believe it or not they still do the job. My ride is not particularly bouncy and doesn’t handle bad. They are still on the list though.
     

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